MLB Rumors

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Report: Braves sign catcher John Buck to minor-league deal
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Braves have signed veteran catcher John Buck to a minor-league contract, which includes an invite to spring training, per MLB.com. Buck will be targeted to begin the season with Triple-A Gwinnett.

Buck is an 11-year MLB veteran. He spent the 2014 season with the Mariners and Angels. He is a career .234 hitter with 134 home runs in 1,090 games.

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Report: Orioles, Bud Norris agree to terms, avoid arbitration
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

The Orioles and pitcher Bud Norris have agreed to terms on a new contract, avoiding arbitration, according to The Baltimore Sun

Norris will make $8.8 million in 2015 with a $25,000 bonus if he reaches 180 innings pitched. Norris earned $5.3 million in 2014, posting a 15-8 record with a 3.65 ERA in 165 1/3 innings pitched.

Norris originally put in for $10.25 million and Baltimore offered $7.5 million

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Report: A-Rod expected to publicly apologize when he reports for camp
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is expected to address the media and publicly apologize when he reports to spring training in February, according to USA Today MLB columnist Bob Nightengale. Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

The 39-year-old Rodriguez has been in the media spotlight plenty as of late. He reportedly met with new Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred to "get on the same page," according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post.

He tried to also reach out to the Yankees to apologize for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, but was told to wait until spring training, according to the New York Daily News. The Yankees are also looking to void milestone bonuses in Rodriguez's contract, per the Daily News.

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Report: Dodgers work out Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com

The Dodgers worked out Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada on Monday, sources told Yahoo Sports.

The market for the switch-hitting shortstop is reportedly around the $30 to $40 million range.

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Reds agree to four-year, $28M extension with Devin Mesoraco
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Reds agreed to a four-year, $28 million contract extension with catcher Devin Mesoraco, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Mesoraco was in his first year of arbitration, so the deal covers all three years of arbitration and his first year of free agency.

Mesoraco was a first-time All-Star in 2014, when he hit .273 with 25 doubles, 25 home runs and 80 RBI in 114 games. He has a career .245/.315/.432/.747 slash line in 289 games.

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Orioles sign De La Rosa, Parmelee to minor-league contracts
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com

The Orioles signed pitcher Dane De La Rosa and outfielder Chris Parmelee to minor-league contracts Monday, reports CSNBaltimore.com.

Both players also received invites to spring training. De La Rosa produced a 11.57 ERA in three games last season. Parmelee hit .256 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 250 at-bats in 2014.

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White Sox OF Avisail Garcia working on improving plate discipline
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia is working on improving his plate discipline and began doing so during the winter ball season in Venezuela, per MLB.com. After starting 2 for 18, Garcia finished with a .312 average, five homers, 22 RBI and a .528 slugging percentage.

"If I don't swing at bad pitches, I have more of a chance," Garcia said. "When I start swinging all over the place, that's when I miss them. I try to swing at good pitches, work my count so I can see the ball better."

The White Sox continue to have raised expectations for Garcia, who missed most of the 2014 season due to a left shoulder injury.

"There isn't anything he can't do," White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams said of Garcia. "He's going to hit for average, for power, steal bases.

"He's going to play outstanding defense. And he has a little flair about him, a little fun, and an aggressiveness going first to third and second to home that's like Kirk Gibson's kind of aggressiveness. What else do you want? Just go play."

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Brewers' Hunter Morris clears waivers, outrighted to Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Brewers first baseman Hunter Morris cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday. He has received an invite to major-league spring training as well.

Morris was designated for assignment last week.

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David Buchanan will compete for one of two spots in Phillies' rotation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Phillies starting pitcher David Buchanan said refininig his curveball has been a point of emphasis this offseason, as he prepares to compete for a spot in the rotation this spring, per The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I had success with (my curveball) in certain games,” he said. “It started coming along there toward the end. But it’s definitely something that has a lot of work still to go. It’s definitely something I’m working on. It’s getting better, which is all I can ask for.”

There is two spots currently open in the rotation behind Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Aaron Harang. Buchanan, Jerome Williams and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez are considered the leading candidates for the openings in the rotation. 

“There’s going to be some competition,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week. “I think that’s the only way that you can get better is by creating competition. I can’t sit here and tell you today that David Buchanan’s going to be one of our guys in the rotation, but he absolutely is going to get an opportunity to pitch in spring training and be ready and compete for one of those spots.”

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Santana fine after throwing bullpen session; winter-league status is TBD
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Free agent starting pitcher Johan Santana threw a bullpen session Sunday and is said to be feeling fine, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. It is now up to his Venezuelan winter league team to decide if he will pitch for them in the finals.

Santana has been dealing with some shoulder discomfort, which has put his status for the remainder of the winter-league season in doubt. Santana is hoping to latch on with another major-league team after suffering a torn Achilles in June.

The Yankees, Padres and Blue Jays are among the teams showing interest in signing the former two-time AL Cy Young award winner.

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